REVIEW – Samsung ST1000 Digital Camera

REVIEW  - Samsung ST1000 Digital Camera

Many of us tend to lead hyper-connected lifestyles these days and we simply cannot be bothered with all of those different cables. If you’re feeling the itch to cut a few cords, you may be interested in the Samsung ST1000 digital camera.

You might remember the unboxing video that I posted last week, giving you a glimpse at what could be the most highly connected consumer camera to date. This thing has wireless radios up the wazoo.

Features and Box Contents

As a quick refresher, the Samsung ST1000 is meant to approach the slim consumer digital camera market, but it brings many features that you may not find in many of its competitors. This 12.2-megapixel camera gets 5x optical zoom, a 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen, smart gesture UI, smart auto mode, advanced dual image stabilization, and up to ISO 3200.

Perhaps even notable, as mentioned, is its highly connected nature. You get GPS for geo-tagging, Bluetooth for wireless file transfers, and Wi-Fi for uploads. This includes the ability to upload your pictures and videos directly to Facebook, Picasa, YouTube, and more.

REVIEW  - Samsung ST1000 Digital Camera

Unlike nearly every other digital camera out there, the Samsung ST1000 does not use the standard SD memory card format. It has a little bit of internal storage, but the main memory card slot is actually microSD. Thankfully, the cellphone-centric format has gone down significantly in price, so picking up an 8GB card (or bigger) won’t cost too much.

Forget About Buttons

Flipping around to the back of the camera, you’ll find that it doesn’t have much in terms of physical controls. There is one small button toward the top-right that gets you into playback mode, but all the other modifications are done through the touchscreen.

REVIEW  - Samsung ST1000 Digital Camera

From what I can tell, the touch display is capacitive, just like the iPhone. When I tried going through the on-screen menu to adjust the settings, I could not do it when I had a glove on. What this means is that while the touchscreen is finger-friendly, it may not necessarily be winter-friendly.

The on-screen user interface very much mimics the interface you would have with hardware buttons. You can touch the icons on the screen to adjust the flash, autofocus, self-timer, image stabilization, geotagging, and so on. The right and bottom “buttons” can be stowed away like a hidden dock. This works quite well and it gives you good access to all the features.

If you have the geotagging feature activated and the camera is able to detect your location, you can have it show the name of the town or city on the screen as well. This can also come up when you’re browsing through your photos on the camera, since they can be sorted not only by date, but also by location.

Connecting via Wi-Fi… Sort Of

This certainly isn’t the first camera with Wi-Fi, but I do like the ability to upload pictures taken directly to the world wide web. Unfortunately, it seems to only scan for SSIDs that are visible and available.

REVIEW  - Samsung ST1000 Digital Camera

You can access protected networks, but you can’t access networks whose SSIDs are hidden. That’s a pain for security enthusiasts who do that (like me). I’ve encountered similar issues with WiFi-equipped photo frames and this is something that all makers of consumer electronics should bear in mind.

And the Picture Quality?

I thought the picture quality offered by the Samsung ST1000 was quite good. Shown above is a macro shot that I took at Starbucks and it was able to pick up on the colors quite well.

You can see a few more sample shots on my Flickr account, including a couple where I used the “classic” color option. This makes for a great grayscale photo and you can apply filters like it from the playback menu as well as during the photoshoot itself.

Conclusion

REVIEW  - Samsung ST1000 Digital Camera

If you’re the kind of person who values all sorts of wireless connectivity and you love messing around with big touchscreen displays, the Samsung ST1000 seems to be a very solid choice. The build quality is great, the picture quality turns out quite good, and the optical zoom doesn’t result in a protruding lens. The geotagging is a nice touch too.

I would have really liked to see a stronger Wi-Fi utility that allowed for connection to hidden SSIDs and this camera is a little heavier than I would have liked, but this is still a great picture-taker. Too bad it’s currently listing at over $500.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10


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15 Comments

  1. fabio says:

    where I can get this camera?

  2. JNM says:

    As being an owner of ST1000, it is a quite fun, convenient and useful camera. Specially, the GPS and Wi-Fi features are great.

  3. Master says:

    I shoot all kinds of stuff with all kinds of cameras. I am a working photographer who shoots for advertising and corporate client as well as to make images for my own books about photography. Over the last two years I’ve been using small cameras like the Canon G10 and the SX10 for more and more of my work. In the studio, shooting set up shots or small products these cameras shine by dint of their easy to use Live View and increased depth of field. When I bought the SX 10 it was for the long range of the zoom lens which meant I could shoot anything from a construction site to tight shots of the cabins at the top of the construction cranes. I’ve done some portraits with studio lights and an SX10 and they were also very usable. I wish the SX 10 and SX 20 had raw file capability but they don’t. That just means I have to be a bit more careful about WB and exposure. I’ve used the SX10 at outdoor swim meets and found that the lens performs better than expected right out to the end.

  4. mya_s says:

    It looks pretty simple but it offers lotsa fun stuff to play with. Cool!

  5. e_shah says:

    It's cool to know that the battery can stay longer … like my WB500, I do prefer this type of battery than the AA alike… nice!

  6. e_shah says:

    This camera offers some fun stuff inside… no-buttons policy that Samsung took and replaced it with a big LCD touch screen concept is definitely awesome! No more worries over buttons haywire, not functioning after numerous times of usage… Love the geo-tagging, smart gesture, wi-fi, etc! Great!

  7. Grecu1955 says:

    Is this camera Mac compatible ?

  8. Franklin Wankler says:

    Dude, no offense, but this is a seriously shallow review. You hardly delved into the feature set and you only posted a few basic pictures. How did the geotagging work? How accurate was it? How long did it take to get a fix? Did it delay your shooting? Did the bluetooth function well? How was the email/facebook functions? How about boot-up time? Have you ever done this before?

  9. dennis says:

    Is the MAcro feature NIce?
    please reply soon thx!

  10. Randall Garrett says:

    Unfortunately, this camera falls back to a 35mm (equiv) wide angle, though it optically zooms to 175 mm (equiv.) Most cameras meant for outdoor use (why else have a geotagging capability) have long ago moved to at least a 28mm (equiv) lens. Most modern cameras (including Samsungs) are moving to a more midely-enjoyable 24 or 25mm (equiv.) Other than that, this camera looks gret (on paper, anyway.) Just my 2¢…

  11. David says:

    I bought this camera a few weeks ago. The GPS accuracy is quite good, however there were some photos where the accuracy was out by a bit. However on my camera, any time after 1.pm showed in the world time feature as 12 hours ahead, which also changes the date too. Also using the in camera photo editing features, (like red eye fix) either before a taking a photo or after wards made the date on the picture reset to 13/1/2009 (UK format date!)

  12. Based on my usage, it displays the name of the city and it's accurate in that respect. I didn't dive into the EXIF for anything more specific than that. The battery is proprietary and it's smaller (about 1100 mAh), but I was able to use it for at least a few days (intermittently) before I lost a bar in battery.

  13. Chris says:

    Any more detail on the GPS accuracy/reliability? Battery life?

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